09/26/2013 In Real Life and Whatnot
24
Andrew
Sep 26, 2013

The Importance of Marriage.

As many readers know, I’m about to get married. Today. Yes after almost 19 years, Mike and I are going to make it official. As my friend Larry Benjamin said to me yesterday – ‘we’ve come a long way.’ Sure there is more to do, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t achieved anything.

When Maryland agree to recognize all lawful marriages – including same sex marriages – from other states, we effectively had marriage equality in Maryland, Mike and I made a conscious decision not to take advantage of the ruling, preferring to wait until we could get married in the state where we lived. Perhaps it was silly, but it made today that much more special knowing that the people of Maryland  agreed it was wrong to deny us the right to get married.

But when Maryland passed marriage equality it also made it that much more important that we take advantage of it. The Governor, Lt. Governor, State Attorney General and others lobbied hard to pass this law. They used political capital to get it done. We donated money, went to meetings and fund raisers, brought our daughter with us to show that we were a family in every way except for the ability to get married. The world was watching – maybe not us specifically, but in the general sense – to see what happened once the law passed.

Imagine if after all that effort, just a handful of people took advantage of it. Would states debating the issue point to the apathy among same sex couples toward marriage to defeat future efforts? My friend Elizabeth – a straight, married woman – pointed out that we are at the front of a wave. That same sex couples who marry give positive examples to LGBT kids to look up to.

When we rented the ballroom, we were told we were the first same sex wedding reception the hotel had held.  Mind you we live in a blue area of a blue state. One would expect these things to take place around here. But we were/are the first. Sometimes all it takes is that first one to open the gates.

Peel away the legal benefits, ignore the fact that we love each other and want to get married, and forget that we fought to have the right to do it, and it is still important for same sex couples to marry. With each new ceremony, the novelty of a same sex wedding wanes and retreats.  With enough ceremonies, people will stop referring to it as ‘gay marriage’ or ‘ same sex marriage’ or even ‘marriage equality.’ That is the ultimate goal, to make it so common that people won’t make a distinction.

Getting married just confirms what Mike and I already knew; in every way that matters, we are just like any other family. It may have taken 19 years to get to this point, but it’s really ‘just another marriage.’ The only difference is it’s ours and not someone else’s. That’s a distinction I hope never changes.

24 Comments

  1. skylar1776 says:

    Andy, Very nicely expressed. Totally agree with you. Wishing you, Mike and lil’q a life time of Happiness! Congratulations!

  2. Martin says:

    Congratulations and may this be one of the best day’s of your lives!

  3. Here’s hoping you and Mike are as happy as I’ve been. My love and very best wishes to both of you on this your special day. Many congrats and have a great one. X

  4. Congratulations on your wedding, Andy! My best wishes to you and Mike. 🙂

  5. Congratulations to you, Mike, and lil’q. It’s a long time coming and I’ve very happy for all of you. I know it will be a day you will always treasure.

  6. marlew92 says:

    Many, many congratulations Qtee and Mike, you are both an amazing example of what we want for ourselves. Lil’q will dazzle as she always does. Love to you all from me and my Stuby xxx
    Loads of pics please x

  7. Guy Parker says:

    So eloquently written. We are with y’all 100%! We, also, waited until Maryland made it legal to marry this summer. Have a WONDERFUL MARRIED WEEKEND!!

  8. GR says:

    Marriage can be a wonderful institution! Congratulation and salutation to you and Mike! May this be the beginning of a new and wonderful part of your lives!

    • I’m still getting used to being married and having ‘in-laws’ for real and not just in theory. It was a great feeling to say ‘I do’ and for the justice to say – you are married officially, legally and for real. 🙂 [she didn’t quite say it like that, but that was the meaning. lol]

  9. well said and congrats to you both. You’ve shown that some things are worth waiting for, some things are worth fighting for

    • Correct on both counts. And guess what? We got married and the world didn’t end, the institution of marriage didn’t disappear, no children were harmed and no one else’s marriage was dissolved. So much for killing the ‘institution of marriage as we know it.”

  10. Congrats my friend. *hugs*

  11. I’m a day late, but congratulations! 😀

  12. Daddy Dave K says:

    Congratulations to you, Mike and the princess on being able to legalize your marriage and family. I’m sure it’s just an affirmation of 19 years of wedded ‘bliss’ with both the highs and lows that happen in all committed relationships. But it is an important milestone and I fully support your thoughts and feelings outlined above. Examples are important, especially to people who have few public role models. Hopefully, the wave you speak of will turn that into an ordinary occurrence over the next several years.

    May the happiness of you and your family and friends be a shining example of the fact that love between two people, no matter the gender mix, is to be cherished and respected.

  13. MikeL says:

    Andy, my heartiest congratulations to you and Mike and your little sweetheart. I know you must be the happiest family in Maryland. I wish you all the best.

    Mike